The role of color diagnosticity in object recognition and representation was assessed in three Experiments. In Experiment 1a, participants named pictured objects that were strongly associated with a particular color (e.g., pumpkin and orange). Stimuli were presented in a congruent color, incongruent color, or grayscale. Results indicated that congruent color facilitated naming time, incongruent color impeded naming time, and naming times for grayscale items were situated between the congruent and incongruent conditions. Experiment 1b replicated Experiment 1a using a verification task. Experiment 2 employed a picture rebus paradigm in which participants read sentences one word at a time that included pictures of color diagnostic objects (i.e., pictures were substituted for critical nouns). Results indicated that the "reading" times of these pictures mirrored the pattern found in Experiment 1. In Experiment 3, an attempt was made to override color diagnosticity using linguistic context (e.g., a pumpkin was described as painted green). Linguistic context did not override color diagnosticity. Collectively, the results demonstrate that color information is regularly utilized in object recognition and representation for highly color diagnostic items.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Color diagnosticity, Edge-based, Object recognition, Rebus, Surface
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10339-009-0260-4, hdl.handle.net/1765/16490
Journal Cognitive Processing: international quarterly of cognitive science
Citation
Therriault, D.J, Yaxley, R.H, & Zwaan, R.A. (2009). The role of color diagnosticity in object recognition and representation. Cognitive Processing: international quarterly of cognitive science, 10(4), 335–342. doi:10.1007/s10339-009-0260-4